The worst thing one can do is to dream for oneself.

And the second worst? To pursue that dream.

In our locale, there is an idiom: dreams are for free. (“Libre ang mangarap.”) It absolutely false. To dream, in itself, is its price, especially if that dream is yours,yours alone, and not any others’.

“Follow your dreams,” many say; have we not heard of it in the media? But what the media forgets is that the “your” in the said sentence is open to contention. To follow your own dream, that which is yours alone, is tantamount to selfishness. You pursue what you want—and when you pursue something, you, necessarily, leave something behind.

When you follow your dream, chances are you will come into conflict with someone else’s. Everything in this world is limited: Economics teaches us that. And so are the slots available for teachers, for police officers, for doctors, for lawyers. So when you pursue your dream to become one of these, you are bound to deprive another, are you not?

Even worse, when you follow your dream, you might run counter to the wishes of your family, especially when necessity is on the line. Family is precisely doing what you do not like to do, after all: a mother does not like to wake up early, cook breakfast, and enslave herself for eight hours—but she does it for her children. So what right have you to follow your dreams, when mothers do not?

Follow your dream and fulfill your own wishes—be prepared to ruin someone else’s and abandon bonds of relationships. Stand by your family’s side and be a dutiful child, a dutiful friend, a dutiful citizen—and humble yourself, break yourself into pieces. This is, alas, what life is. We are, sadly, not the masters of this world. Someone once noted that the price of freedom is too steep. And it is true.

In the end, then, hone your talents. Develop yourself. But remember that you do not do these things primarily for yourself. You do these for others. And, by doing good for others, consider yourself rewarded. It is enough.

2 Responses to “The worst thing one can do is to dream for oneself.”

  1. Out of all your posts, ever, I think this is the one I like the most. It’s very true, and although it feels like it’s coming from somewhere deep, it does not give away anything.

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